Team Science Award

The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate the development of high-quality, multi-investigator (minimum of three) program project grants that will move forward to extramurally-funded grant awards.

Purpose and Overview

Projects with translational potential are encouraged, but not mandatory. Inter-programmatic and interinstitutional teams are highly encouraged. MUSC Hollings Cancer Center leadership anticipates distributing awards up to $150,000 per year for up to two years. Year two is contingent on the submission of an annual progress report (month 11) showing satisfactory progress toward project goals. Any no-cost extensions will require prior approval. Sources of funding for the award include the Hollings Cancer Center Support Grant (P30 CA138313), fundraising from the LOWVELO bike ride, and other Hollings philanthropy/foundation accounts.

Principal investigators (PIs) are expected to obtain regulatory approvals (e.g., IACUC and IRB) within three months of the award decision. Please note that funding cannot be released until all applicable human subject and animal protocols have been approved and copies have been sent to Toni Smith ( and Brett Bechtol (


  • Proposed research must be cancer-relevant.
  • Applications must propose a team comprising at least three investigators/project leaders and projects supporting a unifying scientific theme.
  • MUSC and South Carolina State (SCSU) faculty members are eligible to apply. Applications from SCSU faculty must include at least one MUSC faculty member as PI or Project Leader.  
  • Research can take place, and expenditures incurred, at SCSU or MUSC or both.
  • The overall PI(s) must have a strong track record of peer-reviewed funding (active R01 grant or equivalent).
  • All awarded PIs and project leads are encouraged to participate as a registered rider in the annual LOWVELO bike ride event.


Each full application will be assigned to internal and external reviewers who have substantial expertise in cancer research and in reviewing programmatic, center-level grants.

Review criteria include:

  • Standard NIH criteria (significance, innovation, approach, and investigative team);         
  • Likelihood that preliminary results will lead to external, peer-reviewed funding;
  • Program project synergy (synergy, leadership, strength of the investigators, productivity, and potential impact of the proposed research);
  • Participation in Hollings Cancer Center programs (e.g., attend program meetings, participate in grant review panels, participate in annual research symposia, etc.);   
  • The Future Funding Plan (see instructions) must describe how the funds will provide data that is critical to future extramural grant application(s).
  • When appropriate, describe the likelihood that research will ultimately produce intellectual property, such as patents.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult a biostatistician when developing the research design and methods of their proposals (Hollings: Dr. Hong Li, Interim Director, Biostatistics Shared Resource:; SCSU: Dr. Joseph Tahsoh, Co-Leader, Biostatistics and Quantitative Methods Shared Resource:


Full applications are due by 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020. Please email one PDF file of the application to Brett Bechtol ( After peer review, notifications of award will be made, and the start date will be dependent on the status of human and animal studies protocol approvals.  Applicants receiving a score just outside of the funding range will be notified with the possibility of resubmitting their application for a subsequent RFA cycle.